Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) will resume flying several important transatlantic and transpacific routes in June, a small, but significant, step in the airline's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delta and other airlines have dramatically reduced their schedules in response to the pandemic, which has caused demand for travel to nearly evaporate. The airline's June schedule will be down 85% year over year, but it is bringing back a number of routes that were suspended in the early days of the pandemic.
Delta will restore flights to China, offering service to Shanghai from Seattle and Detroit pending government approval, as well as restore some service to Seoul to link up with the airline's Korean partner. Delta will also restore flights from its U.S. hubs to Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, and Paris in Europe, as well as less than daily service to Tel Aviv and Lagos.
The airline is also restoring service to key destinations in Mexico, Canada, and Latin America.
"Delta's summer schedule continues to be shaped by customer demand, CDC guidelines and government travel regulations," the airline said in a statement.
The June schedule offers at least a glimmer of hope for investors who have seen Delta shares drop 63% year to date. The airline has ample cash to survive a travel slump through summer but will need to see demand return eventually in order to avoid a liquidity crisis.
If you believe travel demand will return in the months to come, Delta is one of the top stocks to buy in the airline industry. There is still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to airlines, but the move to add flights is if nothing else a step in the right direction for Delta.